fertilizing


Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
7,828
Reaction score
3,765
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
We are in the midst of our spring gardens. We all know that our plants need to be fed but how many of us know how to feed them? Most of us are organic gardeners but many are not but it really makes no difference as to how one fertilizes. Plants grow. Their root systems spread. The need for nutrition changes with growth of the plant. I, before I learned better, fertilized around the base of the plant all the time. Wrong! I forgot that a plants feeder roots spread far and wide. On a tomato, at least a foot in all directions. Once your plant, no matter what it is, and it grows to a substantial size its root also grow, in all directions. When we fertilize a growing plant we must not forget that the most import spot to place our expensive fertilizer is where it will do the most good. And that place is not at the base of the plant. It is like a tree. You fertilize a tree mostly at the drip line and it is the same with any other plant. The roots directly under a growing plant do not provide the majority of nutrients. When your apply your fertilizer do not just spread around the base. Spread it even more heavily out to the drip line whether it be a foot or 10 feet.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
1,442
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
Timely post! I spent much of this morning weeding, fertilizing and mulching my asparagus bed. As I did so I pondered where to place the fertilizer (yes certified organic)...I ended up just putting it around the crowns/roots because I figured heavy mulching would prevent the fertilizer leeching deep into the soil.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,738
Reaction score
1,157
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
Cucurbits: all the ones I know anyway, do NOT like to be watered and fertilised from above; strange because they all like moist conditions, but it can lead to root rot.
If you grow them in pots, the best trick is, when you plant them out, to bury, until the neck is just above the surface, a small plant pot, and to water and fertilise through that.
If they're in the ground, two ways to water are;
1) knock a piece of 3" pipe approx 6" into the ground at shallow angle, approx. 18" away from your plant, pointing towards it, and feed and water through that.
2) Build a 3ft dia 1ft high mound for your plant with a "moat" round it, and water the moat abundantly.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
301
Reaction score
43
Location
Central
Country
Kenya
I thought that the base of the plant is a good place to apply the fertilizer because when watered, the fertilizer will percolate downwards and radially. The effective technique in this regard is to dig a ring around the plant and distribute the fertilizer around it.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
7,828
Reaction score
3,765
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I thought that the base of the plant is a good place to apply the fertilizer because when watered, the fertilizer will percolate downwards and radially. The effective technique in this regard is to dig a ring around the plant and distribute the fertilizer around it.
When being rained on most of the fertilizer goes straight down and not radially unless it is being forcefully moved by the water. Making a ring of soil out and away from the base of the plant is a good idea and it is what I do, but the ring is at least to the estimated drip line of the plant. Mainly what the ring of soil does is prevent water runoff. You still put fertilizer at the base of the plant but as the plant grows you apply less at the base but more and more toward the drip line because that is where the feeder roots will grow.
 
Last edited:

RoK

Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Hardiness Zone
USDA 6A
Country
United States
I've been looking for a good cheat sheet list of vegetables and how/when they should best be fertilized (organically). I have not found anything as comprehensive as I had hoped. Does anyone know of a good source? Surely it must exist! Knowing each crop and whether they should be fertilized at the base of the plant or a foliar feeding, at planting or at flowering, every two weeks or once a season... Too much to keep track of!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
7,828
Reaction score
3,765
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I've been looking for a good cheat sheet list of vegetables and how/when they should best be fertilized (organically). I have not found anything as comprehensive as I had hoped. Does anyone know of a good source? Surely it must exist! Knowing each crop and whether they should be fertilized at the base of the plant or a foliar feeding, at planting or at flowering, every two weeks or once a season... Too much to keep track of!
I have never seen anything printed either, just anecdotal evidence. The rule of thumb though is fertilize at planting, fertilize again at blooming and again at fruiting.
 
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
1,442
Location
Mid Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
I've been looking for a good cheat sheet list of vegetables and how/when they should best be fertilized (organically). I have not found anything as comprehensive as I had hoped. Does anyone know of a good source? Surely it must exist! Knowing each crop and whether they should be fertilized at the base of the plant or a foliar feeding, at planting or at flowering, every two weeks or once a season... Too much to keep track of!
Wouldn't that also depend on your area and soil/growing medium? (For instance l do some growing in straw bales, which require a somewhat different regimen than what goes right into the ground.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2015
Messages
929
Reaction score
527
Location
New England
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
United States
I was told to fertilize and water out to the drip line of plants so the fertilizer and water get to all the roots growing out from the plants and not just the ones growing down.
 
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Country
United States
I just mix fertilizer with my soil which is a mix of peat moss and coconut fiber. Or I sprinkle it.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
282
Reaction score
380
Location
Oregon
Hardiness Zone
8
Country
United States
I amend each bed almost monthly, each spot I put a plant before planting, top dress at planting, side dress monthly and add compost/manure too.

I liquid fertilize plants at the base when small and as the plant grows I spread it out. I only feed when the soil is wet/moist. I mix in 5 gallon buckets and use a mason jar to ensure I get it all around the plants (1 foot from base). I might use 2-4 cups on a small plant and upwards of a gallon or more when the plant is big.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top